Moving Smitty

Almost two months ago, it occurred to me that our current boarding situation was perhaps not the best thing for a baby warmblood.

While the care was excellent, the atmosphere could at times be chaotic. For instance the jumping ring was located in the midst of a mobile home park (well, double wides), and beyond worrying about training my young horse, I also would commonly have to worry about motorcycles being revved, doors slamming, dogs walking, and the general bedlam that comes with riding in about 40 people’s backyard.


The other aspect to Smitty’s detriment was the turnout. Not that there wasn’t enough- Smitty actually had one of the largest paddocks there, but he had it all to himself. For many different reasons, the other boarders wanted individual turnout for their horses, and so my big gangly creature was relegated to sniffing noses over the fence for socialization. I really felt like having other horses to be with would be necessary for his sanity and well being.


So I went back to a facility I had looked at when wanting to move Foster from the boarding-barn-that-shall-not-be-named. I remember getting the warm fuzzies until I saw their gigantor fields and knew I would never catch my horse if he decided not to come in.


But everything about it was just about perfect for baby Smitty. So just a couple days after Christmas, we loaded him up and made the 10 min trip down the road to his new home.

Bonus: New stall comes with a jolly ball!

Bonus: New stall comes with a jolly ball!

So far Smitty seems quite at home- he lays down in his stall and out in the field, and he adores his new friend Brio, who at 24 years old is nonetheless quite feisty and makes Smitty try and keep up with him. Watching Smitty’s long legs attempt to gallop has been quite the sight.

I feel really good about the decision to move Smitty, and am also loving the new barn family myself (my tribe- equestrians and fellow winos- what’s not to love?). Though we’ve gotten iced snowed in, I can’t wait to get back out there and see our new friends and see Smitty become a happier, healthier horse!

Pre-Show Prep Part II and other news

Tonight I have A coming to watch me jump and hopefully not flub all my distances, so I really don’t have anything exciting to report as far as our rides. I left off dressaging on Monday since I was too lazy to put the stirrups back on my dressage saddle and hopped over some 2′ fences, which we mostly did get our distances to, but being 2′, didn’t really make me feel wonderful going into the show.

Saddle has no leathers on it because I finally listed this puppy for sale!

Saddle has no leathers on it because I finally listed this puppy for sale!

But nonetheless, I’ve been thinking about my typical pre-show week and I’m once again wondering what everyone else does the week before the show. I heard your post-show routines, and loved hearing everyone’s approach!

Here’s my ideal pre-show week…

Monday: Dressage, riding through the test
Tuesday:  Dressage it up again (after all, the dressage test can make you or break you at this level!)
Wednesday: Jump! Schooling (preferably) higher than we would at the show (in order to make show jumps look itty-bitty)
Thursday: Foster gets the day off while I spend my day writing uber long lists about what to bring
Friday: Light dressage, focusing on transitions and relaxation. Pack everything humanly possible into truck and trailer

Now, obviously I’m already not sticking to the above plan, having not done dressage since last Friday, and I’ll be riding tomorrow instead of Tuesday, but the above schedule is our ideal. Something I have learned to live by is to not ride through my complete tests the couple days before the show. I find that whenever I try it, I put too much pressure on getting it perfect and get frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Instead, I find my time better spent mentally riding the test, revisiting the pattern in my head and making mental notes about establishing bend in a corner, or allowing him to move forward on a diagonal- that sort of thing.

Foster gets his window opened occasionally, since he has proved to us that the door makes a good foot rest

Foster gets his window opened only occasionally ever since he has proved to us that the door makes a good foot rest

In other news, I’m moving Foster to a new barn next week. Suffice it to say that the current situation just isn’t working out, and I would prefer Foster to be in an environment that supports our competitive ambitions with performance horse feed and footing, and offers a stable (no pun intended) turnout/stall routine. At the current barn, the horses come in only in super hot/cold weather or rain, and Foster and I both miss the routine of knowing when he will be in/out and getting some time to veg out in his stall.  I’ll be moving him next Friday, and I sincerely hope we are done moving for some time after that.

For now…